Tuesday with Mel Kiper Jr.

Mel works overtime to bring you final verdicts from the NFL draft

Originally Published: April 28, 2009
ESPN Insider
Mel KiperHoward Smith/US PresswireFrom Stafford to Sanchez to Stroughter, Mel Kiper touches on all the draft talking points one last time.

It's been a long draft season for Mel Kiper Jr.: Debates with Todd McShay over Matthew Stafford; weekly comments of Jay Cutler being overrated; and, finally, the NFL draft, where he was left tapping his pen on the counter as his colleagues occasionally said things that were not so draft savvy, disregarding draft value at certain positions. But now that it's all over, it's time to hand out the superlatives.

Best Draft Award: The Packers drafted Boston College DT B.J. Raji and USC linebacker Clay Matthews. "I really like what Green Bay did," Kiper said. "Defensively, they really got better -- they had to. They get the offensive lineman in T.J. Lang, who I really like. They get the fullback in Quinn Johnson, got some late-round picks that made sense." Kiper added: "To me, B.J. Raji, put him on that defense in that 3-4, you got Aaron Kampman on the other side, put Matthews on the other side, and all of a sudden, your front seven on defense, with Raji and Matthews, is that much better. The Packers, with this draft, have a chance to jump into the playoff mix."

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